It’s a path of relaxation for the body, mind, and soul.
Combining yoga and meditation, this form of yoga is used as therapy as well as a regular practice, and after one 30-50 minute session scientists found that stress levels in participants dropped dramatically.
Yoga Nidra is done by sleeping, physically but not mentally. Nidra, which means sleep in Sanskrit, rejuvenates your body and mind of all the stresses. While various other postures of yoga will make your body fit and healthy, yoga Nidra targets the inner self.
The difference between normal sleep and yoga Nidra is that when you sleep your conscious mind is dormant while your subconscious mind takes over - yoga Nidra does the opposite: your conscious mind is still awake and so relaxes the body and mind completely.
Here are 9 steps for a Yoga Nidra practice:
Connect to your heartfelt desire: Bring forth that feeling when you are the best You, when you are most connected with yourself. How does it feel? What does that Self seek?
Find your inner resource: Channel that power when you feel more confident, most secure, and most alive. Think of the things that make you feel passion for life. Then let those things dissolve, but hold onto the feeling they produce.
Scan your body: Check in with your body, one part at a time. Can you feel the inside of your right ear? And your left? Then both at the same time? Check in with your nose, your neck, your arms, down to your toes.
Become aware of your breath: Focus on nothing but the way your breath feels as it flows in and out of your body. Let your breaths get deeper and deeper.
Welcome your feelings: Don’t push out whatever feelings come in, take note of them, scan for their source. If it’s a negative feelings, recognize where it came from, acknowledge it, and then release it with a breath.
Witness your thoughts: Allow pressing thoughts to surface, see what has its claws in you.
Experience joy as you strip yourself of all judgement and negativeness, and focus on your inner child-like light.
Observe your self: How does it feel to be You? Recognize how your feelings have realigned themselves, allowing you to feel the deep inner connection between you and the universe.
Reflect on your practice: Which parts were the most difficult? Which were the most fulfilling? What do you need to focus more time on? All of these are important questions as you move forward with Yoga Nidra. Most importantly, thank yourself for your practice.